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LDS church responds to Mormon blogger after excommunicated ‘to correct public record’

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is responding to Mormon blogger John Dehlin after he was excommunicated Tuesday.

The church said it has a “responsibility to correct the public record.”

LDS church: Mormon blogger excommunicated for ‘apostasy’

The LDS church sent this statement to Fox 13:

“Holding a disciplinary council for a member of the Church is not something that any local leader takes lightly. Such councils are always held in private, and the member is always invited to be a part of that discussion. The decision as to whether to hold a disciplinary council, when and for what reasons rests with the local leader who knows the individual best. Local leaders operate under general principles and guidelines of the Church.

Such councils are always far better when all involved respect the principle of confidentiality. At the very least, this principle helps those members who wish to return to full fellowship at a later date. When the member has chosen to air their grievances in public, the Church reserves the right to correct the public record. In this case, attempts have been made to create the impression that the disciplinary council convened on Sunday, February 8, 2015, and which has resulted in a loss of Church membership or excommunication of Mr. Dehlin arose largely because of his views on same-sex marriage and priesthood ordination for women.  Although his stated positions on those subjects are not consistent with the Church’s teachings, they were not cited in the local leader’s letter delivered to Mr. Dehlin on February 9, which spelled out the reasons for the local council’s unanimous decision, as follows:

  • Disputing the nature of our Heavenly Father and the divinity of Jesus Christ.
  • Statements that the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham are fraudulent and works of fiction.
  • Statements and teachings that reject The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as being the true Church with power and authority from God.

In his letter the local leader stated, “I want you to know, Brother Dehlin, that this action was not taken against you because you have doubts or because you were asking questions about Church doctrine. I also want you to know that I acknowledge your right to criticize the Church and its doctrines and to try to persuade others to your cause.  Our Heavenly Father has given us moral agency to decide how we will live our lives, and cherished free speech rights in this country allow you to openly state your opinions.  But you do not have the right to remain a member of the Church in good standing while openly and publicly trying to convince others that Church teachings are in error.”

Church discipline is not designed to be the end of the process, but the beginning of the road back to full fellowship. One who leaves the Church is always welcome to attend weekly worship services and is always welcome to return to Church membership through the grace and Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

LDS Church disciplinary council for John Dehlin of ‘Mormon Stories’ concludes, no decision Sunday

John Dehlin of ‘Mormon Stories’ says he faces apostasy charge, excommunication from LDS Church

LDS blogger and podcaster faces church discipline

105 comments

  • daveo

    Nothing more than a self-serving LDS PR Department press release. The sheep will feast on it. Others will not be fooled.

    • whatdoyouthink?

      The press release was in response to Mr Dehlin misstating the reasons for his excommunication (for what reason only he knows) despite them being clearly spelled out in the letter quoted in the article. How is that self-serving?

      • Simone

        The church lied. I’m not Mormon but I’ve lived in “Mormonville” (Utah) for 10 years and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that the church lied just like they always do in these situations. Before you respond please keep in mind that this is the same church that says that God changed his mind about black people in 1978, says that the early founders were abolitionists despite written records from their own archives proving otherwise and now denies that they were ever against LGBT anti-discrimination laws. If you ask me this is just more Mormon BS.

  • Jason

    These are some pretty ridiculous comments. Tell me, what would your respective churches do if YOU went around publicly telling everyone it was a bunch of lies? This was the only sensible thing to do.

    • Marc Thomson

      The “LDS is just as horrible as every other religion” really isn’t a defense. Both Jewish and Catholic have a high degree of intellectual tolerance for scholars and others who disagree with the basic tenets of their religion. I think it’s a mark of insecurity that a faith can not be questioned without shunning the questioner.

  • jmh181

    Love how LDS Inc. us quick to state why he was excommunicated but once again does not address his claims. Parts of the Book of Mormon and POGP have been proven false. The church’s unwillingness to address this will keep me far away. If parts of the scripture are false it is only logical that he would question the church as beeing the only true church with authority from God. I predict the church will continue to hemorrhage members where people have access to technology to do their own research. It’s probably the only reason the church is growing so much in undeveloped countries.

    • Brian

      You predict they will “continue to hemorrhage members?” Baptizing 300,000 people per year, having thousands return after excommunication, and losing hundreds to excommunication is hardly hemorrhaging. Some of the highest baptizing missions are right here in the “silicone slopes” area that has more computers per capita than almost any other location in the United States. Just because this guy has doubts doesn’t mean he’s the only one who ever learned this information and asked questions. Many of us have researched and found satisfactory answers in LDS doctrine and scripture to these and many other questions.

      • Rory

        The rate of growth for the laughing gas church continues to dwindle. 🙂 yay!
        Until 1970s Blacks couldn’t hold authority…. if the church is “The one true church” what changed in the 70s?
        Societal norms of MAN had, and that indicates the mormys are ruled by modern times and events……not an eternal insightful and all mighty.
        Hope You got pissed off.
        Sourced: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints_membership_history

        2000 11,068,861 315,875 2.94%
        2001 11,394,522 325,661 2.94%
        2002 11,721,548 327,026 2.87%
        2003 11,985,254 263,706 2.25%
        2004 12,275,822 290,568 2.42%
        2005 12,560,869 285,047 2.32%
        2006 12,868,606 307,737 2.45%
        2007 13,193,999 325,393 2.53%
        2008 13,508,509 314,510 2.38%
        2009 13,824,854 316,345 2.34%
        2010 14,131,467 306,613 2.22%
        2011 14,441,346 309,879 2.19%
        2012 14,782,473 341,127 2.31%
        2013 15,082,028 299,555 2.03%

      • nweb

        Rory- Maybe you should look at the the growth church rate since it’s been on the Earth instead of just picking a random 13 year time frame. From the very link you provided, you can clearly see that the church has had years of 18 percent growth, and years of far less than that. It started out with just 6 members, but by the next year had over 200, which meant a growth percentage in the thousands! So, no, I am not angry at your post- I just think it’s funny that you purposely only showed the growth since this century as if to prove somehow that means that the church is going to dwindle down to nothing, when the very link you provided shows that the rate of new church membership doesn’t stay constant.

      • Chad

        All you need is a computer? HA! That comes straight from the crowd of “I saw it on the internet so it must be true.” The Book of Mormon nor the Pearl of Great Price have been proven false in any way, and yes I’ve seen the highly suspect claims out there. Yours and their research findings, credentials, and conclusions leave something (nay, a lot) to be desired, to say the least. I’ll take respected scholars who say the exact opposite of you over your web comments any day. No offense! But I don’t have to take the word of some imperfect student of inspired words. My prayers are heard and answered and I cannot deny the truth (I also know that you cannot experience this for me, nor can I experience it for you if truth is to be received from the source of all truth). But of the two of us I have experienced something that you have not, so my witness of that truth is more valid than someone who just hasn’t experienced it, wouldn’t you say? You can test it out for yourself but it is a truth understood beyond what man is able to test by study alone, so you will have to ask God, who knows all, if you really want to know His mind on the matter. Don’t you care what He thinks?

    • Bill Fox

      Please tell me which countries the church is not growing in. Is the U.S. an under developed country. The Church is the 4th largest church in the U.S. and will soon be the 3rd. The church will get along just fine without you or me. Unfortunately I on the other hand would not get along well without the church as a result of having a testimony of it’s truthfulness

    • Rich

      I know the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price to be true books of scriptures. The Apostle Paul taught that the spiritual truths can’t be arrived at except by spiritual revelation and not by the methods mankind uses to prove or disprove temporal things.

  • Curtis

    Why is it that these days we feel religion (which has stood for something for years) should adapt to our way of thinking and not the other way around.

  • Anon

    Mormonism is unraveling at the seams. In the 1980’s 78% of Utahns were mormon. Fast forward to today and just a fraction over 50% are mormon in Utah. The only rising numbers can be found in depressed countries (mostly 3rd world). The awakening has begun.

    • Brian

      Wrong. The reason the percentage of LDS in Utah is diminishing is because thousands of people are moving to Utah from other states each year because our conservative values have created one of the best economies in the nation. When you have people who aren’t mormons flooding Utah, of course the percentage of LDS is going to go down. Utah has some of the highest baptizing missions in the world. Indeed, “the awakening has begun.”

    • Bill Fox

      “Mormonism is unraveling at the seams. In the 1980’s 78% of Utahns were mormon. Fast forward to today and just a fraction over 50% are mormon in Utah. The only rising numbers can be found in depressed countries (mostly 3rd world). The awakening has begun.” You are joking right? In the 1980s how many temples were in Ut.? How many are there today? How many Wards were in Ut.? How many are there today? It sure sounds like we are falling apart at the seems.

      • Tom Diehl

        My youngest daughter served an 18-month mission in South Salt Lake City. She and her companion(s) were responsible for the baptism of 55 individuals who had faithfully prayed about the truthfulness of the restored gospel and prophetic of Joseph Smith. I commented that I found it difficult to believe she could find that many people in SLC ready to be baptized, and asked how that was possible. She said, “Dad, we have hundreds of non-members moving to Utah without a job, and without knowing why they have moved. The Lord shows them why they have come.”

  • Mimi

    I’m glad the church came out with the full story even though his excommunication shouldn’t have been made public by him in the first place. I’m frankly surprised he wasn’t exed around the same time that women for the priesthood leader was, given that he has also been publicly supportive of that movement.

    • Suzan

      “that woman” She has a name even if you don’t agree with her. The Mormon lack of respect for other people, not ideas but people, is one of the major reasons so many non-Mormons aren’t interested in hearing from the missionaries. Let’s try treating everyone decently.

      • Bill Fox

        On the records of the church she does not exist. If she wants to come back she can find the same door she walked out of

      • Chad

        Don’t take offense where none is intended. If you or Mimi remembered her name then maybe one of you would have used her name. Offhand I can’t remember her name, either. Read something into that if you like, but there really is nothing behind it. Be fair before you judge.

      • Tom Diehl

        And her name is …? By your own words you have shown the depth of your sincerity. It was Kate Kelly, by the way.

  • Michael

    I find it funny that so many members are quick to call john apostate when theres not a single thing he’s said about church doctrine that isn’t true. No one wants to look at the actual content and think critically about it, they just want to protect their own fragile mentality by declaring John “Apostate”. The fact is, many who have been called apostate in the past for talking about true facts in church history have been vindicated by the Church’s own recent admissions to its own history. So what happens to those members who were actually telling the truth back then? Like those members, I have no doubt that the church will conform to public opinion eventually -as it always does- and that John will be proven correct. However, all the sheep on this thread will praise the magic of continuing revelation, even though future prophets will declare current prophets were teaching false doctrine, and no one will realize that they were wrong to criticize John.

      • whatdoyouthink?

        There are many faithful members of the church who know as much or more than Mr Dehlin about church history, doctrine, administration etc. John has not “proved” anything about doctrine nor revealed a single shred of unique information that informed people haven’t already researched, considered, and fit into their faith paradigm or moved on. He is not the first to ask questions nor will he be the last. He is however, somewhat unique in his desire to create a following and persuade others of his viewpoints, as opposed to those who are happy to simply move on if they no longer believe in the church. That is why he was excommunicated.

    • Brian

      Not one thing he’s said about church doctrine isn’t true? How about the Book of Mormon is false? Whether you believe it’s true or not, church doctrine states that it is true. How about Jesus isn’t the Savior and God might not exist? Also goes against church doctrine. He wasn’t excommunicated because the historical items he “discovered” about the church weren’t true. In fact, the Church has published many of these items on it’s own website. Historical information is not necessarily church doctrine

    • Kate

      Michael, I think you are not under standing the meaning of Apostate it is to be a part of the church witness its miracles and feel God’s spirit and then to deny that the church is true or that God exists as he was a member he was given many chances the feel God’s spirit and see his miracles but he chose to deny what he may have felt or the miracles he saw that is being apostate. I hope this clarifies the reasons members call him apostate.

  • robertbridgstock

    That letter above gives the impression that the ‘agency’ or ‘freedom’ to express opinions at Church, which may challenge established claims of doctrine or history is welcome and common place. Total bloody nonsense. Every active LDS who has no intention of going public or of hurting the Church, but nevertheless has serious doubts and wishes to discuss them openly amongst members in the corridors or lessons periods at Church will find themselves feeling very out of place, uncomfortable and lectured to. The Church cannot stomach its own version of truth being questioned openly and plainly within its ranks.

    • JustAnotherGuy

      I disagree. I regularly question church doctrine in the middle of Sunday School or other official gatherings. I don’t insist that the church is false and everything people believe is wrong, but when I learn of something that seems to contradict doctrine or support an alternative view, I bring it up. I usually discover that many people have considered it before and from different angles. The discussions that ensue are often thoughtful and I never feel like I’ve offended anyone. The questions aren’t always immediately resolved, but I usually learn something.

      Now, I suppose if I learned that (for instance) Joseph Smith had many wives, and I went to church and told everyone that as a result, church doctrine is false and everyone is deluding themselves because I’ve read all kinds of research everyone else is just sheep who’ve never had a logical thought in their life, wake up people, etc., I imagine that behavior wouldn’t be as readily accepted. But pushback against honest questions stemming from a desire to further investigate sincere concerns? I’ve never seen it.

  • Matt

    John Dehlin has a right to believe whatever he wants to believe. That’s the way agency is meant to function. However, if his beliefs differ, as he has demonstrated openly, from the beliefs of the LDS Church then they have the right to question and excommunicate him for those differences. Why the debate? It’s pretty simple. Dehlin disagreed with the beliefs of the LDS Church and now he no longer has to worry about being in conflict with the church. Nothing to see here. Just someone who had their 15-miuntes of fame and is down the road with his life. Wish him well and call it good.

  • P

    If you do not believe the doctrine of the LDS Church and think it needs to be changed, why would you want to be a member?

    • Bob

      No one does. We just want you to shut up about it and quit trying to run everyone’s lives. Keep your crazy to yourselves and no one will care!

      • Speedy2

        Oh my gosh! You want us to shut up? The vast majority of comments here are from dissenters/haters of the Church! Ya’ll hate the Church or you say you have left the Church, but you haven’t left. You can’t stay away! You can’t walk away quietly and live in peace. You still care very, very much or you are the ones who would shut up.

  • chris

    Separate the Wheat from the Tares. It is God’s Church, and His authority that acted to excommunicate this man. The Church statement is right on, with humbleness, and maintaining the Standards that God has revealed. It’s called Revelation.

  • Brandon

    The church is true or it isn’t. Simple as that. We should all really be more concerned about the Islamic State people killing babies, children, woman, and men in the most discusting ways for being anything other than what they believe.

    • victoria

      The mormon church was once like the Islamic state? Did Joseph Smith not kill thousands of native Americans and other people because they chose not to join the church? Do research on the founder of your church first!!

  • dave mcfarland

    Dehlin was excommunicated for advocating doctrines not in line with the church

    Ever read the letters of Paul? What are they about? They are letters meant to stop apostasy.
    The LDS has 12 apostles as the ancient Christian church had 12 apostles. Part of their job is to establish and defend true doctrine, as Paul established true doctrine. We believe this doctrine comes from the Lord, not from fashion or what is politically correct. When Moses was on Sinai, receiving the 10 commandments (true doctrine), his brother, Aaron was leading the worship of the golden calf. So the history of the church in old and new testament is one of dealing with apostasy. There will always be those who claim they have the truth and the leaders are wrong. This is fine. Go start your own church and worship what you choose, but at some point we must part ways in order to maintain what we believe is the truth, irrespective of popular notion of truth. If you think that is mean and bigoted, sorry. Start your own church. We believe LDS doctrine comes from the Lord, not man, so we feel your argument should be with the Lord, not his prophet or apostles. Start your won church, worship hat you will. You go your way with peace, we will go ours.

    Read the New Testament. Many examples of people being ‘kicked out’ (Simon Magnus, Annanius and Safira)). The LDS church believes it is the restoration of the Ancient Christian Church, So guess what. When people, who profess to know better, will be ‘kicked out’. this is a normal process. If we truly are the Christian church, then you would expect to see some people ‘kicked out’ Right? Do you think this is unfair? Bigoted? Well sorry, but that’s their job – maintain true doctrine.

  • joshuA

    sounds like to me lds churches need to read the king james bible a little more. since when has one sect of churches been the,”one true church and have received power and authority from god”. im pretty sure a church is only as good as its teachings and any sect of church can be just as good as another. as long as the the teachings are from the word of god and not twisted by the pastor and preachers on means then i say its a great church. so since when did mormons receive such a high and mighty power from god?

    • Tom Diehl

      That was exactly the reason Joseph Smith prayed to know the truth. Having read the King James Bible, and being exposed to so many contradictory opinions of so many different churches, he read in James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shal be given him.” Just a young teenager, he knew he lacked wisdom. And he certainly didn’t want to start a new religion, he just wanted to know which was the true church, the one he should join. And pray he did, and that prayer was answered, not as he thought it would be answered, but answered nonetheless it was.

  • Chad

    That was the only foreseeable action to take. To rebel against an organization and then expect them to uphold you in good standing is absurd.

  • David Montague

    When I was ex’d I was “released to the buffetings of satan”. What an act of loving kindness. I already had a problem with the buffetings of satan but now I was “officially released to the son of the morning” by men who acted in behalf of god. This was god’s wish for me and was given to me out of loving kindness. At least that is what they want you to believe. The truth is they want to strike you at the core with a fear statement in a last ditch effort to control. It’s all about control. It’s all about fear. They use fear to control the masses. I am so glad to see the church losing control. It is great to see them struggle under public scrutiny. It’s great to see these old men make incompetent after incompetent statement trying to pretend they are wise men. It’s great to see the worldly bury their intellect as the rest of the world grows up and they continue to adhere to “Muslim Extremist views”.

  • Tom's EPortfolio

    I love the use of the word “sheep” or “sheepole”. Sheep is the same word Jesus Christ used in describing his disciples. I am glad to be called His “sheep”. I willingly follow Him and those who He has given us to lead His church. Isn’t that what really is in question here?
    John decided he no longer wants to be Christ sheep. He has his agency. Christ will continue to call after him with people. This is how it works. We are God’s hands on the earth. People are imperfect. The church is true the people aren’t. That is part of the test. Will we rely solely on the people or will we turn to Christ to know the truth? Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned. I wish John well and love him as I do all people. He has chosen this road as I choose my road.
    I am grateful I have my right to choose and I am glad he has his. Good luck and may God’s grace bring him peace.

  • cee cee

    “One who leaves the Church is always welcome to attend weekly worship services…”
    He didn’t LEAVE the church, the church kicked him out. There is a huge difference.

  • Jewels

    Good for the church for taking a stand on correcting mistruths that Mr. Dehlin has mentioned to the public. Sorry to hear when anyone leaves the church. May he find peace and a way forward.

Comments are closed.